tv BBC World News America PBS December 20, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. 11 days and counting. that is how long u.s. lawmakers have to reach a deal or go over the fiscal cliff. for weeks, the combination of tax increases and spending cuts has been the ultimate political football in washington. there is little sign of any holiday good cheer. >> in washington, the fiscal cliff a stalemate remains. >> the latest on the fiscal cliff. >> the ugly phrase that is on everyone's lips, fiscal cliff, is what america could tumble off and 11 days. it means that if the president and congress cannot agree on a plan to sort out finances, there
will be automatic savage cuts and brittle tax rises. neither side is budging much. >> it is very hard for them to say yes to me. at some point, they have got to take me out of it and think about their voters. >> four weeks, the white house said that if i move on rates, they would make substantial concessions on spending cuts and entitlement reform. i did my part. they have done nothing. >> it would mean automatic spending cuts worth more than a trillion dollars. taxes for the average household would go up by about three and a half thousand dollars. most economists say the u.s. would be put back into recession and global growth could be halved.
the u.s. defense budget alone would face a cut of $500 billion. companies like aircraft manufacturers are very nervous. this is already hurting business. >> this is a confidence detractor. and do i really have the confidence to make an investment when i know little about just our uncertainty, but where this is going? >> it is not just the big boys that worry about staying aloft. this has the same. >> everyone will have to pay more taxes. people will have to spend less money. the calamitous a fact is quite apparent.
>> for more on the negotiations under way, i spoke with an economic reporter for "the wall street journal." is america going over this cliff? >> there is little time left. this can get the language in place to pass it after christmas and get this all sealed up. this is going to require us to go into the new year before you get this resolved. >> how far apart are the two sides now? >> they are not that far apart. few billionably a dollars that could get there but one of the concerns is that members in both parties think they have already come so far in coming closer to a deal. democrats feel like they have
given up on entitlements of places in where they would not have wanted to and republicans have given up their quest to not increase their rates on anyone at all. it did seem like a fantasy that this would get it done without some crying, screaming, kicking. we were hoping that this would get rescheduled. >> what is the sticking point? >> there is a divide between these two groups. the republicans and democrats have been fighting on these positions for so long. giving up their long-held positions requires a cleansing of the system in a way that they are not willing to do yet. it is very difficult for democrats to give up the social programs. they have been campaigning for so long on not allowing tax increases. >> the rest of the world watches
this argument going on. what are the economic consequences? >> it is embarrassing for the u.s. to occur like this. internally, it is embarrassing for the people here as well. consumers and businesses are watching so much this function on their government on the most basic issue. if they see that, they will not have very much confidence to either invest in the stock market or make investments in the businesses or shopping. >> we have a deal before the end of the year or will we be back here in january? >> i think that we will be back here in january before we get this settled. i do think we will get this settled because the consequences for both parties would be too high. >> the u.n. security council has voted to authorize a military mission to mali. rebels have seized power in the
north of the country and they will send an african-led intervention force to take control. they have a mandate to use all necessary measures. . in pakistan, another vaccination worker has been killed. is the ninth person to die while distributing the drops in the country. the workers are being accused of u.s. spies. a new report into alleged human- rights violations and syria says there has been a dramatic increase in violence in the country's major cities and that the conflict is becoming increasingly sectarian in nature. it warns that more and more foreigners are joining both sides in the fighting. now to the ongoing controversy surrounding the attack on the u.s. mission in libya. today, representatives from the state department appeared before u.s. lawmakers. officials acknowledged that some
very painful lessons were learned from the benghazi assault in which america's ambassador and three others died could this comes in the same week that a scathing report faulted management failures at the state department. in response, the head of the diplomatic security bureau resigned. what are those painful lessons that you think that the state department has learned from the attack. >> some of the lessons they have learned in their high-risk missions, they need to have more security. that is not as mean more security guards come it means better and tougher buildings and more importantly they need to look at intelligence in a different way. they cannot expect to have a warning of an attack that will come, they have to be more attuned to deteriorating conditions. >> the panel talked about a lack of ownership of the security issues, meaning that no one was
in charge or know what wanted to take responsibility. >> it talked about confusion between bureaucrats and officials in the field at the u.s. embassy in tripoli. there was confusion over who really had responsibility for making sure that the mission was to cheer. ultimately, the report primarily blamed the bureaucrats back in washington for not paying close attention to this mission even as the security was getting worse. >> also and the report was how the state department did not spend on security. >> they talked about a culture of saving money. it got down to the point where in benghazi they were arguing whether there should be 3 diplomatic agents on the ground or five. they were nickel-and-diming the officials in the field and they need to spend more money on marine guards as well as spending more money to secure these facilities.
>> do you think that we will see more of the u.s. military protecting u.s. diplomats abroad? >> the deputy secretary of state went up to congress today told lawmakers that they are counting on an additional 225 marine guards going out to nearly three dozen embassies around the world. the bigger question the pentagon will face is if they have to have more troops to be alert to respond to emergencies of conflict. >> can departments do their jobs if they're behind a fortress? >> not at all. hillary clinton says that diplomats cannot operate out of bunkers. they will have to rethink this mission using intelligence better and proper security where it is needed. >> will this change the way that u.s. diplomats operate? >> i have actually talked to some diplomats and they are
somewhat skeptical. diplomats in pakistan are largely restricted to the embassy in islamabad and places like that. they're worried because of the concerns raised by benghazi and the tragic deaths of four americans, the work might become more difficult. >> thank you for joining us. >> across europe, demonstrators have taken to the streets of protests and nowhere more so than in spain. in keeping the peace, how far should the police be able to go? that is a question that has been raised after some people have been left severely injured. country,in's basque police officers train with a new weapon. they will use it at demonstrations when things turn violent. the weapons afire these, the rounded tip of which is made of a heart from. they can be fired accurately at
a distance of up to 50 meetings. in this region, they will have a weapon which fires these rubber balls. the new weapons can be fired directly at the troubled maker but the rubber bullets are first fired at the ground. the idea is that they will bounce up towards their intended target. the police will stop using this weapon after a rubber ball hit a man back in april and he later died. more questions follow the case, this woman who is blind in one eye. she was hit at a demonstration in barcelona last month. >> i knew straight away that he was really serious. i knew that my i was missing. i really don't understand that. you can demonstrate for your rights, the police charge that you like you are at a state of war. >> the police in barcelona say
they did not fire the rubber balls. they did fire blanks and projectiles. the power of the rubber balls is clear. it was still be used in other parts of spain. the spanish government insists it is safe. >> it can be dangerous. it is a matter of good training and experience and the use of the weapon has. >> officers undergo intense training in this region before they use the new guns. the police here and say it is a useful tool. for when demonstrations turned violent. >> you are watching "bbc world is america," still to come -- could an end to the burma's
longest-running conflict be in sight? a damning report by amnesty international says greece's handling of illegal migrants make it and i were the member of the european union. a senior official at the ministry told the bbc every year around 130,000 people are arrested when they enter the country illegally. we have more in this report. >> greece is a major gateway for migrants from asian and african countries trying to enter the european union. that they are discriminated against is not new but what this report is saying is that the mistreatment they are suffering now is reaching crisis levels. thousands are detained in an appalling conditions or left vulnerable in the streets where racist attacks happened on it
almost daily basis. greece is at the front line of the migration challenge. more than 80% of migrants into into the european union and they do go through greece. thousands end up in detention camps and many of those who are not detained spent days and nights waiting to apply for asylum. other recent months, there has been a wave of attacks on immigrants, a number of them being stabbed to death. it is not just the illegal migrants or asylum seekers feeling under attack. some of them are feeling targeted even when they are there legally. this racially motivated attack coincides with the rise in popularity of a far right parties like the golden who blame some of the country's problems on illegal migration. greece, which is in the grips of its worst recession in decades, has called on do you for more
help. the country says that they bear the disproportionate weight of the illegal immigration burden. >> as 2012 draws to a close, few countries have expressed as much change this year as burma there are moves to end the armed conflicts which have plagued burma since independence in 1948. that includes a cease-fire with ethnic insurgents and the start of peace talks but it and end to the longest-running conflict actually be inside? in our correspondent reports. >> the road from poverty usually started here at the bus station at the capitol. this is a 50-year-old widow. she is waiting for a ride just a
few hours away where she works illegally as a maid. she told me her husband had been a government soldier killed in the long war against insurgents. >> it is possible. of course i would love to come back, but i don't have a job and i don't have a house. where what i live? >> the journey would take her along a mountain road and through territory that has been contested for more than 60 years just outside the town, a new industrial state is taking shape which is offering the migrant workers a better alternative. until just a year ago, this area was still subject to regular fighting between government troops and insurgents. the short and our political changes have for the first time created a condition for lasting peace and the possibility of building a normal economy.
the first factory opened a few weeks ago the employing 150 workers. they make it simple garments for the japanese market. the factory owner the for improve road links to thailand will be able to allow him to increase jobs. >> they don't have a job. before the cease-fire, a lot of people did the work the people, instead of fighting their whole life, they like to work on the industry. >> he is training hundreds more workers. preparing for the day when this state like the rest of form -- the rest of burma returns to the economy. >> now for some disappointing news. for those of you that have big
plans for this weekend. according to the ancient mayan calendar, the world will end tomorrow. you might want to consider rescheduling. so far, people are flocking to doomsday destinations. we have a closer look as to whether this could be our last broadcast. >> whatever else it may become a the end of the world is good for business. the yucatan peninsula is enjoying a tourist boom. actually, say the locals, it is not the world that is ended, just one time in the mine calendar. >> this is a cycle and another is beginning, which you can see here. so, after 52 cycles come our calendar is renewed. >> in china, one inventor has created an end of the world pot again for those -- for those
looking to survive armageddon. >> i could do a party to mark but if it is going to end, the party's likely to happen, is it? >> no one knows what the end of the world will be like but it was a match and in this painting. there have been many predictions about what it will be. the seventh day adventists said that it would be in 1874. the prize for persistence would go to a person who predict that the end of the world at least six times between 1994 and 2011. he was wrong every time. in france, one village has been sealed off by police and surrounded by journalists after rumors spread that the local mountain would prove a safe haven. the locals fear an onslaught of new wave survivalists.
>> we don't think the world this point and. >> you came here just for the fun of the story? >> famous journalists come to meet some crazy people. it might take more than a ufo to survive this if it turns out that the mine's ore right after all. mayans were right after all. >> -- was a painstakingly written by leonard cohen for his recording company. since then, it has been recorded it many times. what did he do to make the song so popular? this has risen from obscurity to one of the most famous tracks
and modern music. >> the song starts completely off the radar. there are now 360 something recordings of songs around the world and the song was turned down by at leonard:'s record company has become perhaps one of the most popular songs of his generation. i'm the author of the holy or the broken, leonard cohen, jeff buckley, and the unlikely ascent of "hallelujah." it is always hard to know with the actual genesis of the credit process is for a song but what leonard cohen said was that he wanted to open this idea of it mean in giving praise to god. he wanted to open it up beyond its religious meaning and to give a more religious sense.
nothing much happened for a long time. jeff buckley comes to new york city and becomes the most buzz about young artist in 1992, 93. rediscovers -- he discovers "hallelujah" and entered it into his said. he died drowning in the mississippi river and this mythologies starts to grow around him and more and more people go back to his music and "hallelujah" becomes a real time epitaph for this tragic and figure. more and more artists started to cover it. everybody from willie nelson to katie lang to michael bolton. all kinds of people began to record the song.
is very easy to be cynical that music does not mean as much as it used to, not as important as the ec to be. it can mean an incredible amount to a wide range of people. it is seen as this kind of sacred pop song and a modern hiymn. even when you suffer the pain and heartbreak of what life throws at you, you have to stand in wonder at a life and living. >> a haunting and them. how "hallelujah" became a global
hit. we hope to see you back here tomorrow. until then, you can find constant updates on our website. for all of us here, thank you for watching. >> makes sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank.
>> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
- hi, neighbour! today it's my birthday, and we're going to have a birthday party! and then we're going to the park for a picnic! d you're coming too! and i'll be right back! is made possible in part by... the richard king mellon foundation. dedicated for over sixty years to south western pennsylvania's quality of life, and competitive future. and by these pittsburg foundations. working together to enhance and enrich the lives of children for more than seventy-five years. and by the arthur vining davis foundations. dedicated to strengthening america's future through education.
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come on in! do you know what today is? it's my birthday! look! i'm gonna have a birthday party! see? hey, do you like birthday parties? - ugga mugga, birthday tiger. it's time to go to the bakery to pick out your cake. - you'll come with me, right? i'm so happy you're here. - let's go! - trolley! (trolley dings.) please take us to the neighborhood bakery! (trolley dings.) you're gonna love it. - ♪ we're going to the bakery to pick out a cake ♪ ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ won't you ride along with me ♪ - mom, i have a question. since i'm bigger,